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SAT Reading Practice: Mixed Passages (Grades 11-12)

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SAT Reading Practice: Mixed Passages

In undertaking a study of insects it is well first of all to know something about what they are, their general nature, appearance, habits and development. The insects comprise the largest group of animals on the globe. There are about four times as many different kinds of insects as all other kinds of animals combined. Insects vary greatly in size. Some are as large as small birds, while others are so small that a thousand placed in one pile would not equal the size of a pea.

Insects are commonly spoken of as "bugs." This term, however, is properly used only when referring to the one order of insects which includes the sap and blood-sucking insects such as the chinch bug, bed-bug, squash bug, and the like. Then too, there are many so-called "bugs" which are not insects at all. Spiders, thousand-legs, crawfishes and even earth-worms are often spoken of as bugs.
This passage is primarily concerned with:
  1. educating readers about the definition of an insect.
  2. introducing readers to a specific type of insect.
  3. collecting data for further research on insects.
  4. investigating the habits and manners of insects.
As it is used in line 6, the word "bugs" most nearly means:
  1. another word for insect
  2. a word for a specific class of insects
  3. another term for ladybug
  4. a word representing the insect class as a whole
The author's references to spiders, crawfish, and earthworms in the last line of the passage serves to:
  1. introduce a new class of insects.
  2. explain the problem with calling insects bugs.
  3. highlight insects that have multiple legs.
  4. describe insects and bugs that help the environment.
Passage 1
THE grasshopper or locust is one of the most ancient plagues of cultivated crops. From the earliest time they have destroyed crops. During Moses' sojourn in Egypt they were so destructive as to cause severe famine and various other references to their destructive work are to be found in the early writings. Since those early days, just think of the crops that have disappeared between the greedy jaws of grasshoppers!

In our own country it has not been many years since the sun was darkened for days by clouds of grasshoppers as they settled down from the Rocky Mountains upon the growing crops in the neighboring states. One day a field might have a promising crop and by the next day it might be left as bare as a dry stubble field in August. Those days of great destruction in America have largely passed but each year the active jaws of "hoppers" devour a handsome fortune.

In the same order with the grasshoppers come the crickets, katydids, rear-horses, devil's darning-needles or walking-sticks, and cockroaches. The grasshoppers are most troublesome, however. They deposit eggs in the ground and in other protected places. In the spring these hatch into young "hoppers" scarcely larger than a pin head at first. Throughout the early summer these small fellows feed and increase in size. They burst their old skins and crawl out of them a number of times as they grow larger. Toward fall they become full grown with four strong wings and very powerful hind legs for jumping. In this condition most of the common grasshoppers will be found in the fall when the rural schools open.

Passage 2
In the house fly we find one of man's most deadly foes. War can not compare with the campaigns of disease and death waged by this most filthy of all insects. In our recent strife with Spain we lost a few lives in battle, but we lost many more in hospitals due to contagious diseases, in the transmission of which this pest played a most important part.

The fly is dangerous on account of its filthy habits. It breeds in filth, feeds on filth in open closets, slop-barrels, on the streets and in back alleys and then comes into the house and wipes this germ-laden filth on our food or on the hands or even in the mouths of helpless babies. Who has not seen flies feeding on running sores on animals,[36] or on "spit" on sidewalks? These same flies the next minute may be feeding on fruits or other food materials. We rebel when pests destroy our crops or attack our stock, but here we have a pest which endangers our very lives, and the lives of those dear to us.

If the fly confined itself to filth we could overlook it as it would help to hasten the removal of filth. On the other hand, if it avoided filth and remained in our home we could not overlook it, but we could feel safe that it was not apt to do us a great deal of harm. But, like the English sparrow, one minute it is here and the next somewhere else; from filth to foods and then back again to filth. In this way it carries disease germs upon its feet and other parts of its body and by coming in contact with food material some of these germs are sure to be left on it and cause trouble later. The fly's method of carrying disease is different from that of the mosquito where the germ is carried inside its body.
In passage 2, the author uses war as
  1. an introduction to diseases carried by flies.
  2. a contrast to how flies interact with other insects.
  3. a comparison to the death and destruction caused by flies.
  4. an example of how flies carry diseases from place to place.
In Passage 1, what does the reference to Moses accomplish?
  1. It describes the usefulness of grasshoppers.
  2. It shows where grasshoppers appeared in the Bible.
  3. It gives a comparison for how high grasshoppers can jump.
  4. It helps explain how long grasshoppers have existed on Earth.
In Passage 1, the phrase "dry as a stubble field in August" most nearly means:
  1. completely bare
  2. teeming with life
  3. flooded with water
  4. heartily growing
Looking at Passage 2, with which statement would the author most heartily agree?
  1. Flies are a passing nuisance.
  2. Flies are a dangerous class of insects.
  3. Flies are an important element in Earth's ecosystems.
  4. Flies are a crucial part of development in the African world.
Which statement best applies to both Passage 1 and Passage 2?
  1. Some insects cause a lot of destruction.
  2. Flies and grasshoppers are two very different types of insects.
  3. Farmers rely on insects to help improve their annual crop.
  4. Not all insects have an important role to play on Earth.
1 Reverend Meza, Reverend Reck,

2 I'm grateful for your generous invitation to state my views. While the so-called
3 religious issue is necessarily and properly the chief topic here tonight, I want
4 to emphasize from the outset that I believe that we have far more critical issues
5 in the 1960 campaign; the spread of Communist influence, until it now festers
6 only 90 miles from the coast of Florida - the humiliating treatment of our
7 President and Vice President by those who no longer respect our power - the
8 hungry children I saw in West Virginia, the old people who cannot pay their
9 doctors bills, the families forced to give up their farms - an America with too
10 many slums, with too few schools, and too late to the moon and outer space.
11 These are the real issues which should decide this campaign. And they are not
12 religious issues- for war and hunger and ignorance and despair know no
13 religious barrier.

14 But because I am a Catholic, and no Catholic has ever been elected President,
15 the real issues in this campaign have been obscured - perhaps deliberately, in
16 some quarters less responsible than this. So it is apparently necessary for me
17 to state once again - not what kind of church I believe in, for that should be
18 important only to me - but what kind of America I believe in.

19 I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute;
20 where no Catholic prelate would tell the President - should he be Catholic - how
21 to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote;
22 where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political
23 preference, and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion
24 differs from the President who might appoint him, or the people who might elect
25 him.

26 I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor
27 Jewish; where no public official either requests or accept instructions on
28 public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other
29 ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly
30 or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials,
31 and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is
32 treated as an act against all. For while this year it may be a Catholic against
33 whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been - and may
34 someday be again - a Jew, or a Quaker, or a Unitarian, or a Baptist. It was
35 Virginia's harassment of Baptist preachers, for example, that led to Jefferson's
36 statute of religious freedom. Today, I may be the victim, but tomorrow it may be
37 you - until the whole fabric of our harmonious society is ripped apart at a time
38 of great national peril.

39 Finally, I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end,
40 where all men and all churches are treated as equals, where every man has the
41 same right to attend or not to attend the church of his choice, where there is
42 no Catholic vote, no anti-Catholic vote, no block voting of any kind, and where
43 Catholics, Protestants, and Jews, at both the lay and the pastoral levels, will
44 refrain from those attitudes of disdain and division which have so often marred
45 their works in the past, and promote instead the American ideal of brotherhood.

46 That is the kind of America in which I believe. And it represents the kind of
47 Presidency in which I believe, a great office that must be neither humbled by
48 making it the instrument of any religious group nor tarnished by arbitrarily
49 withholding it - its occupancy from the members of any one religious group.

50 I believe in a President whose views on religion are his own private affair,
51 neither imposed upon him by the nation, nor imposed by the nation upon him¹ as a
52 condition to holding that office. I would not look with favor upon a President
53 working to subvert the first amendment's guarantees of religious liberty; nor
54 would our system of checks and balances permit him to do so. And neither do I
55 look with favor upon those who would work to subvert Article VI of the
56 Constitution by requiring a religious test, even by indirection. For if they
57 disagree with that safeguard, they should be openly working to repeal it.

58 I want a Chief Executive whose public acts are responsible to all and obligated
59 to none, who can attend any ceremony, service, or dinner his office may
60 appropriately require of him to fulfill; and whose fulfillment of his
61 Presidential office is not limited or conditioned by any religious oath,
62 ritual, or obligation.
With which statement would the author of the passage most heartily agree?
  1. A president must be Catholic to lead the country effectively.
  2. The religion of the President should have little bearing on how he rules.
  3. A president should hire cabinet members of different religious backgrounds to promote diversity.
  4. The government and the office of the President are directly tied to the religion of the land.
As it is used in line 5, the word "festers" most nearly means:
  1. spoil or become bad
  2. opens and draws in
  3. ignites and burns
  4. worsens or intensifies
The author's reference to Jefferson's statute of religious freedom in lines 35 and 36 seeks to:
  1. explain why religion is so important to government.
  2. support the author's argument for separation of church and state.
  3. describe an example of religious intolerance in a historical context.
  4. introduce a new argument related to the role of religion in government.
Based on the information in the passage, it can be inferred that Article VI of the Constitution, referenced in line 55 of the passage, prohibits
  1. the President from speaking publicly about religion.
  2. citizens being required to take a religious test to work in the government.
  3. immigrants from having to adopt a new religion when they enter the country.
  4. Baptist preachers from speaking out against the President in public forums.
As it is used in line 55, the word "subvert" most nearly means:
  1. uphold
  2. damage
  3. support
  4. undermine

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